To beef up security for users, especially those in the gaming community, Skype will now hide IP addresses by default.
The Microsoft-owned chat service recently introduced the ability to hide your IP address, but has now enabled this setting by default in the latest version of its desktop and mobile apps.
"This measure will help prevent individuals from obtaining a Skype ID and resolving to an IP address," the Skype team wrote in a blog post. As Engadget noted, the move is intended to prevent online harassment in the gaming community, specifically.
Talk of this issue dates back to at least 2011, when researchers from the Polytechnic Institute of New York University warned that it's possible to leverage a service like Skype to track a person's whereabouts. "Specifically, if Alice knows Bob's VoIP ID, she can establish a call with Bob and obtain his current IP address by simply sniffing the datagrams arriving to her computer," the researchers said.
The following year, a Pastebin user posted instructions on how to exploit a flaw in the Skype network to determine another user's IP address. At the time, Skype called the problem an "industry-wide issue faced by all peer-to-peer software companies."
Now it should finally be less of a problem on Skype.
Head here to download the latest versions of Skype for desktop and mobile devices. Just be sure to update Skype across all your devices to ensure you're protected.
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